Inland economy expected to grow only slightly

By on October 9, 2013
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The Inland Empire’s economy will experience only modest growth this year and the next two years, according to a local economist.

The two-county region’s gross domestic product – the sum total of all goods and services produced there – should grow two percent this year and three percent in 2014 and 2015, said Manfred Keil, an associate professor of economics at Claremont McKenna College.

“That’s good economic growth, but it’s not outstanding,” said Keil, who spoke Wednesday at the fourth annual Claremont McKenna College Inland Empire Center-UCLA Anderson Forecast Conference. “What GDP growth we do have is happening because a lot of people have moved into the Inland Empire recently.”

“If you take that out of the equation, the Inland Empire starts to look ordinary.”

Keil was one of several speakers at the conference, which attracted about 300 people to the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.

Despite recent signs of a recovery, particularly in the housing market, Keil sounded only mildly optimistic when discussing the Inland region’s immediate economic future.

“Right now, the Inland Empire economy is a like a car stuck between second and third gear,” Keil said.